PDF Version - Transports Canada

RDIMS # 10104840
January 2015
Transportation of Dangerous Goods
TDG Bulletin
Classification Scheme
Classification Description
Alternative Methods
Classification Flow-Chart
Compliance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations
Page 2 of 7
This bulletin explains the classification requirements. It does not change, create,
amend or suggest deviations to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
Regulations. For specific details, consult Part 2 of the TDG Regulations.
Classification Scheme
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act divides dangerous goods into
nine classes according to the type of danger they present. The nine classes, as
well as their divisions, are described in “The Marks of Safety” handout.
It is the consignor’s (shipper) responsibility to classify a substance, product or
organism to determine if it is dangerous goods. A consignor must do all the prep
work (or hire someone to do it) before the carrier takes possession of the dangerous
goods. Preparing the dangerous goods for transport includes:
Classifying the dangerous goods;
Completing the documentation;
Displaying the dangerous goods safety marks on the means of containment;
Selecting a means of containment;
Classification is normally done by (or in consultation with):
 A person capable of understanding the nature of the dangerous goods (e.g. a
 A person who formulates, blends or otherwise prepares mixtures or solutions
of goods; or
 In the case of infectious substances, a doctor, scientist, veterinarian,
epidemiologist, genetic engineer, pathologist, nurse, coroner or laboratory
technologist or technician.
Proof of Classification
A proof of classification is a document a consignor must make available for a period
of five years starting on the date that appears on the shipping document to the
Minister of Transport Canada on reasonable notice given by the Minister. The proof
of classification is in the form of:
 A test report;
 A lab report; or
 A document that explains how the dangerous goods were classified.
Page 3 of 7
The proof of classification must include the following information:
The date on which the dangerous goods were classified;
If applicable, the technical name of the dangerous goods;
The classification of the dangerous goods; and
If applicable, the classification method used under Part 2 of the TDG
Regulations or under Chapter 2 of the UN Recommendations.
Classification Description
When classifying dangerous goods, the consignor must identify:
 The shipping name;
 The primary class;
 The UN number;
and, if applicable,
The compatibility group letter;
The subsidiary class(es);
The packing group;
The infectious substance category.
1. The shipping name is the name of the dangerous good as it appears in
column 2 of Schedule 1, Classes 1 to 9, of the TDG Regulations.
2. The primary class is the class of dangerous goods that takes precedence over
any other class. The subsidiary class is the other class that further identifies
the hazards of the dangerous goods. More than one subsidiary class is
3. The UN number is a four digit number that identifies dangerous goods
4. The compatibility group identifies the types of Class 1 explosives
substances and articles that can be transported together without
significantly increasing either the probability of an accident or, for a given
quantity, the magnitude of the effects of such an accident. It is represented
by a letter following the primary class of a Class 1 explosive.
5. The packing group indicates the degree of danger of a product or substance.
Packing group I indicates great danger, packing group II indicates moderate
danger and packing group III indicates minor danger.
6. Categories A and B are used to classify infectious substances. They are based on
their ability to cause a disease, their ability to spread the disease and the severity
of that disease. Substances classified as category A indicate greater danger.
Page 4 of 7
Alternative Methods
Use of Classification
The consignor must use the following classifications:
 For substances included in Class 1, Explosives, the classification determined
in accordance with the “Explosives Act”;
 For radioactive materials, the classification determined in accordance with the
“Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations”.
The consignor may use the following classification:
 For substances included in class 6.2 infectious substances, the classification
determined by the Public Health Agency of Canada or the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency.
For transport within Canada by road vehicle, railway vehicle or by ship on a
domestic voyage, the consignor may use the classifications in:
 The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions;
 The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code; or
 The United Nations (UN) Recommendations.
International Transport
As per subsection 11.1(1) of the TDG Regulations, the IMDG Code must be
consulted for international transport by ship.
For transport from the United States into Canada by road vehicle or railway vehicle,
the shipping name used must be one that is recognized in Schedule 1, Classes 1 to
9, of the TDG Regulations or in the UN Recommendations.
Shipment by Air
The ICAO Technical Instructions, as well as, Part 12, Air, of the TDG Regulations
must be consulted for all shipments by air.
Classification Flow-Chart
On the following page, there is a pictorial summary to help consignors use the
TDG Regulations to classify dangerous goods for transport.
Page 5 of 7
Are the dangerous goods precisely described by the
shipping name (and its description) in Schedule 1?
Use the shipping name and its
corresponding data (UN number,
class, packing group/category).
Consult Part 2 - Classification,
of the TDG Regulations
If it is in Class 1 or 7, it will be classified
pursuant to another regulatory authority
Classes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 have
criteria and require tests to be
completed. Based on the criteria and
test results, three scenarios exist:
Falls out of
all classes
Sec. 2.3
Falls into one class
and one packing group
Falls into more than one class
or packing group
Art. 2.5
Sec. 2.4
Not regulated
Consult Schedule 1
for the shipping name
that most precisely
describes the
dangerous goods
Determine the primary class,
subsidiary class(es) and packing
group by using section 2.8 Precedence of Classes in Part 2
Consult Schedule 1 for the
shipping name that most precisely
describes the dangerous goods
Use the shipping
name and its
corresponding data
(UN number, class,
Ex. UN1993,
Page 6 of 7
Use the shipping name and its
corresponding data (UN number,
class, packing group/category)
Compliance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and
Failure to comply with the TDG Act and TDG Regulations may lead to fines and/or
prison. You can visit the TDG website at: www.tc.gc.ca/tdg. If you have any
questions about the TDG Regulations, contact a Transport Canada dangerous
goods inspector in your region.
Atlantic Region
[email protected]
Quebec Region
(514) 283-5722
[email protected]
Ontario Region
(416) 973-1868
[email protected]
Prairie & Northern
[email protected]
Pacific Region
(604) 666-2955
[email protected]
Page 7 of 7